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Friday, June 17, 2011

North America Cup Night

Primetime begins for the 3year olds first string with the North American Cup taking place this Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.  But it is not just the 3yo pacing colts that take center stage.  In addition to the NA Cup, we have the Elegantimage (3yo trotting fillies), Goodtimes (3yo trotting colts), and the Fan Hanover (3yo pacing fillies) on the stakes-filled card.  In addition to these races, Mohawk's overnight races feature the best of the horses racing on the WEG circuit to make an attractive card.  In today's entry, I will handicap the four stakes races on the Saturday night card.

Note in the North American Cup, I did not pick Big Jim.  In fact, Big Jim is being tossed by almost every American journalist who covers harness racing.  This does leave the possibility of getting odds on the horse everyone practically coronated as the horse of the year before the year began which you would have never thought possible.  If the odds are right, I may chuck my selection in the NA Cup and play Big Jim to win, hoping the addition of ear plugs and the race from behind strategy will work.

Mohawk Racetrack - Saturday, June 28, 2011

3rd Trot - $519,000; Elegantimage - 3yo fillies
  1 - Eagle Canada (McNair, 8-1) - Has shown no evidence of being able to keep up with #4.
  2 - Beatgoeson Hanover (Miller, 4-1) - Filly went a tough mile last week winning her elimination.  Can score minor upset.
  3 - Lady Rainbow (Zeron, 12-1) - Elimination race was somewhat lackluster.  Pass.
  4 - Crys Dream (Ouellette, 1-1) - The horse to beat.  Take these odds?  I think not.
  5 - Oh Sweet Baby (Balliargeon, 30-1) - Could not keep up with top pick.
  6 - Iron Lady (Sears, 15-1) - Been improving, but not yet ready for prime time.
  7 - Seducedbychocolate (MacDonell, 12-1) - Finished second to top choice in second start.  Expect improvement.
  8 - China Pearls (Waples, 20-1) - Moves the wrong way post-wise.  Can't see.
  9 - Cedar Dove (Moiseyev, 12-1) - Another who can improve but draws poorly.
10 - Lukes Sophie (Jamieson, 6-1) - Horse must charge out and clear early.  Don't see.
Also Elibible
11 - Creme De Cocoa (Ackerman, 25-1) - Would love to see what this horse can do with a different driver.
Selections: 2-4-7-6

5th Trot - $347,000; Goodtimes - 3yo Open
  1 - Highland Thunder (R Zeron, 30-1) - Will be hard pressed to pick up a check despite the rail.
  2 - Imperial Count (S Zeron, 6-1) - Elimination winner.  Concerned with efforts in Onss.
  3 - Blue Porsche (Ritchie, 7-5) - Never challenged in elim.  The one to beat.
  4 - VC Chocoholic (Sears, 3-1) - Another elim winner but seems to lack the closing kick.
  5 - Mr Joe Sixpack (Jamieson, 15-1) - Second to fave. Decent effort to spice up exotics.
  6 - Onirique (Ouellette, 15-1) - Was unable to sustain last drive.
  7 - Soulful Delight (Tetrick, 5-1) - Returned well, eligible to still improve.
  8 - Ice Machine (Miller, 15-1) - Being tested for class here.  Don't ignore.
  9 - Sim Brown (Waples, 8-1) - Second best last start.  Wouldn't surprise if gets in money.
10 - Tamarind (Filion, 10-1) - Can't recommend.
Also Eligible
11 - Haulin Laser (Mulinix, 20-1) - In to go Friday night.  May be still too green. 
Selections: 4-5-7-8  

7th Pace - $1,500,000; Pepsi North America Cup XXVII - 3yo Open
  1 - Big Jim (Hudon, 7-1) - Pre-season favorite has been off of late.  Expect change of strategy. 
  2 - Up The Credit (Jamieson, 5-2) - Three races win steak.  The 'now' horse.
  3 - Powerful Mist (Miller, 6-1) - Won last despite being blocked in last race.  Consider.
  4 - Big Bad John (Miller, 2-1) - Undefeated last year.  The one to beat.  Take short odds?
  5 - Shadyshark Hanover (Tetrick, 5-1) -Lost least to #2.
  6 - Rockabillie (Sears, 15-1) - Beat Big Jim in last.  Consider/
  7 - Roll With Joe (Waples, 8-1) - Able to come back and land second./
  8 - Eighteen (MacDonell, 25-1) - Post hurts chances.
  9 - Dutch Richman (Zeron, 30-1) - Midwestern invader raced well in last, but draws poorly.
10 - Foreclosure N (Filion, 25-1) - :25.4 last quarter will hop for speed duel and fly late.  Will he get there late?
Also Eligible
11 - Townslight Hanover (Zeron, 30-1) - A real stretch with these.
Selections: 2-10-4-1

9th Pace - $601,000; Fan Hanover - 3yo fillies
  1 - Camille (Brewer, 20-1) - Good effort in return to the bigger oval but up against much better.
  2 - Krispy Apple (Tetrick, 5-1) - Won her elimination.  Looking for #2 to end #'s streak.
  3 - Whats New Pussycat (Waples, 15-1) - Has never had success against top pick.
  4 - See You At Peelers (Sears, 7-5) - 17-17 lifetime.  The one to beat but at these odds, I will look for an upset.
  5 - Shyaway (Zeron, 30-1) - Thrashed in EBC against #4.  Pass.
  6 - Athenas Legacy (Jamieson, 20-1)  - Having good year but not today.
  7 - Monkey On My Wheel (Zeron, 20-1) - May spice up exotics if races well.
  8 - Pretty Katherine (Miller, 8-1) - Second to Krispy Apple. Must include in exotics.
  9 - Live Inspired (Teague, 30-1) - Seems to be in a tough spot.
10 - Idyllic (Miller, 6-1) - Will get her share of stakes wins this year with better posts.  Tab for later.
Also eligible
11 - Honky Tonk Woman (Jamieson, 12-1) -  Don't ignore if she gets in with a good post.
Selections: 2-4-8-10

News Item: NJTHA votes on the Bailey deal for Monmouth Park Saturday. Credit for this story goes to one of VFTRG readers who alerted me to this which was then confirmed by another source. Approval by the NJTHA of Morris Bailey's proposition on the number of days of racing and purse levels would clear one of the last obstacles for the Monmouth Park lease. As we know, Governor Christie wants both tracks leased out at the same time so approval of this agreement may be key to finally getting the Meadowlands lease finalized and allow the the Gural team to formally begin their transition process.

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